Returning to full time work?

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I am the 24/7 caregiver for my mother but want to inquire to those who after their job of care giving is done; or if they decide to work part time; what have you done to explain to prospective employers what you did as a caregiver, and how receptive are the employers to this job experience? Has this experience prevented you from getting interviews? Are the employers still looking at your previous job experience prior to your taking on your caregiver experience? (Knowing that the job we have as caregivers is the hardest job most of us will ever have) What have you experienced?

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I am a retired HR professional. My main advice is to be confident and matter-of-fact in your presentation about your choices. The prospective employer is going to want to know about your ability to fit into the job they have and the skills that are needed for that job. What have you done to keep your skills current? How do your skills/experience fit what they need? Be able to articulate that to them because they're not going to take the time to figure it out. You have to do the work for them.

My biggest piece of advice to ANY job seeker is to take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job you're seeking. Probably 90% of candidates just blast out their resume with no specific thought to that particular job or company. That approach will get you nowhere fast.

If you've been out of the workforce for a number of years, take some steps to show your commitment to getting back up-to-speed with your skills. Take a class, volunteer doing something similar, do something to show you're ready to step back into the workforce.

Also, remember it's a two-way street. You are looking for a company that's a good fit for YOU as much as you're looking to fit into their company.

Feel free to private message me with specific questions. I love to help people figure out how to approach employers and how to best present their background to get hired.
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How long did you provide care? I was laid off in 2009. Went back to school obtained my masters degree. Found work early 2011. Laid off six months later just as mom needed care. That became my work for four years. Took seven months to find work in my field but had to go to a less competitive market 450 miles away. Was there for only a year, found work much closer to home. Very happy to be back. Be willing to think outside of the box and make major changes.
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I agree - be open, honest and do not apologize for being a caregiver. Anyone who cannot see the merit will not be someone you'd want to work for anyway as they would most likely never appreciate you.
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Depends on the level of care for your mom, and level of support system. My mom requires 24/7 supervision and care so I had to leave the work force...it was either that or put her in a nursing home. Cost of care is exorbitant--a CNA will cost about $35 an hour at an agency; sitters who do NO hands-on care is $20 an hour. I used agencies in the past because if you hire someone off the street or non-licensed, non-insured place they can CLAIM to fall and get injured in your house and sue your estate and probably win. If you want to work and do not have a close trusted family member to help you care for her your only other option is to impound her in a nursing home. You have to SPEND DOWN the estate and she cannot have any more than $2,000 in the bank. I ASSUME you have POA. You have to see an eldercare attorney because "spending down" is tricky and Medicaid has a 5 year look back law and they can see everything you do via computers.  You will also have to arrange to have your name also on her bank account if she is unable to comprehend living expenses. Be mindful if your mom has Alzheimer's like mine she's only going to get worse. Medicare does not pay for any kind of sitters or home care, and do no expect any kind of help from the government or VA. IF you can find work at home--do that. I did not waste my time. I got my four-year degree most of it was online and since I made mostly straight A's I won scholarship after scholarship so it did not cost me a dime. Since my mom is still alive I applied for a Master's program, which is entirely online. Since I have a savings when I did work full-time the cost will not be a burden--this is MY MONEY from my OWN wages. I never touched my mother's money. Be mindful Medicaid will see that as gifting if you do use her money for your education so you have to do it on your own.  So I made taking care of my mom not at all a hardship. Mom IS a full-time job but there is no excuse for me not to pursue my education since now it's all entirely online. I have old desktops in my bedroom, living room, even kitchen so I can do my school work and watch her at the same time.
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You have good advice here. I used to be a hiring manager and saw alot of moms returning to work after staying home with young children for several years. The people who came in with a confident attitude, willingness and eagerness to learn about the job and do the work, and proud of what they have done, plus showing how they have kept up their skills - were winners. In my case - we trained our sales people for the job. ATTITUDE was everything. Good luck - we are cheering for you. Hold your head high. Caregiving is not shameful nor was staying home with children. It was a choice while it was needed.
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The other thing I'd add is when you're ready, put your intentions out to your entire network - everyone you used to work with, your friends, and your relatives. Be specific about what you're looking for. You never know what connection you'll make. I got a part-time job through a friend (after I was retired) that morphed over time into a full-time non-profit job that used all of my skills. I wouldn't have imagined that option in the year before it happened. There are a lot of jobs out there that never get posted and get filled through networks and relationships.

Update your resume on LinkedIn. Start looking at indeed.com and npo.net (non-profit) job boards. Post your resume (without identifying info) on craigslist. Consider part-time work if you need to, just to get yourself back working again. Target the company (ies) where you want to work and try to get your foot in the door. Once they see your work ethic and skillset (assuming they're good) you may find other opportunities.

Consider starting your own business if you have the skillset to do work privately.
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I would work with a professional to get a top notch resume. My cousin, before she got dementia, had stayed at home to be sole caregiver for her mother for a number of years. But, after her mother's death, she applied to several jobs and was VERY successful. She was almost immediately offered two positions that had great benefits and salary she wanted! I was shocked. They asked about her absence from the job market and she explained. She showed me her resume and I was so IMPRESSED. I have hired people over the years and I would have hired her. IT was done really well. She had a friend who did that kind of thing professionally help her with it and I think it really helped her job searches. Her top notch resume translated into this is a top notch applicant. 
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I am retired, but I have two volunteer jobs.
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Thank you for your answer. I will private message you on the rest of the questions and thank you again!
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